Dr. Norman E. Borlaug Day

October 16, 2020

Borlaug's influence persists:

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has just awarding the 2020 Peace Prize to the United Nations World Food Programme. ..."for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.”  

Only two other Nobel Peace Prizes in history have focused on global hunger, one of which was awarded in 1970 to University of Minnesota's most highly acclaimed alumnus the late Dr. Norman Borlaug.  The Nobel Committee “believed Borlaug's 'Green Revolution' had fostered peace by helping hundreds of millions escape famine and misery.  It averted massive social and political upheaval, and brought prosperity to areas of the world heretofore considered hopeless" (quoting U of M Professor Emeritus Richard Zeyen).     

Remarkably similar sentiments from the Committee spanning 50 years and for such laudatory recognition.  

When Dr. Borlaug died in 2009 this same World Food Programme, with which he collaborated for decades, saluted him for being their agency's “great champion in the battle against hunger”. …who "saved more lives than any man in human history.” The Food Programme's umbrella agency, the U.N.'s Food and Agricultural Organization, stated “FAO will work tirelessly to ensure that that dream of Dr. Norman Borlaug becomes a reality."   One can only conclude these organizations took great inspiration from Borlaug's achievements and his collaborations them.  (And, there have been other U of M associations with them, such as currently U of M Applied Economics alumnus Dr. Arif  Husain, Chief Economist.)

The World Food Programme and other international agencies, celebrate "World Food Day" annually on October 16.  "Dr. Norman E. Borlaug Day in Minnesota” is also recognized on October 16 via proclamation by the governor (available now on governor's website).

Don Henry, PhD  U of M alumnus